This is incredibly long but please consider reading the red flags throughly. I have also sourced much of the information I speak about as well as what I’ve observed from certain (not all) youtube channels that exhibit this behavior.
Hey y’all. I originally made a post about a certain “spiritual” youtuber who was scamming people, but I felt inclined to teach everyone how to spot these MLM scams (in case u don’t already know) that are arising. Despite whatever beliefs you may have, please note that these scams are incredibly real & detrimental for those who become victims of it. Use your own healthy skepticism & critical thinking to discern information, and help raise awareness to this scam. Especially considering that people are being sued for “defamation of character,” when speaking out against these folks. In my opinion, educating people to stay safe feels more effective instead of giving more traffic to these “spiritual guru youtubers,” that may or may not be running a [email protected] scheme. Bad press is any press (to them) so I prefer helping people figure out the tools to spot these people themselves.
Disclaimer: I am no expert nor do I ever claim to be, but I have sourced all the links for where I got this info. Also ALWAYS do your own extensive research before you purchase ANYTHING or listen to anyone, especially online where it’s easy to lie. Having financial boundaries is important too.
A phenomenon known as “spiritual narcissism” has been gaining notoriety with the rise of LOA. These people have similar attributes to textbook narcissists but use spirituality as a vehicle to harm and lure in vulnerable people. This is most common with those who are less familiar or are new to spiritual concepts. The FTC also reports that most online scams happen from the age range of 30-39,(FTC 2020, sourced below). If you or anyone you know has been scammed or if you witness a scammer, do not hesitate to fill out a form to the Federal Trade Commission so they can further investigate these frauds and/or help you get your money back. Doing so is incredibly easy and accessible online and usually only takes 10-15 minutes(sourced below). As a general rule of thumb, take everything with a grain of salt, even this.
a) Creating codependency & cult-like mindsets in their followers. Spirituality is incredibly personal & relies on you to do the introspective work. if anyone claims that the “only way you can achieve a certain vibration” is through their expensive workshop or that they’re the ones that can help bring you “enlightenment” know that they are lying. You do not NEED anyone but yourself to reach enlightenment. I’d strongly advise that if you are new to these concepts, start simple with 5 minute meditations. Don’t overcomplicate things and risk your own wellbeing because somebody told you so. In general I would advise you avoid “coaches” as they usually charge ridiculous amounts of money for content that you can easily access for free online.
b) Contradiction & hypocrisy. If someone claims to be a “highly spiritual guru” or anything along those lines yet is constantly putting emphasis on material goods, sex, power, and hoarding wealth, proceed with caution. A lot of these times these people will also put a lot of effort into maintaining their appearance or think of themselves very highly (in an unhealthy manner). They will usually have their own website that uses marketing schemes that “sound too good to be true.” These people may just be taking advantage of LOA concepts & renting expensive cars/homes claiming that “they manifested their dream life.” Also, most spiritual you tubers who are spreading information to actually help others will put more emphasis around healing your inner self first, concepts such as kindness, generosity, flow, mindfulness, forgiveness, and etc are more aligned with those who are actually attempting to come from a place of unconditional love. Most times, those with the intent of love will leave their venmo or patreon & not EXPECT you to pay them. Or they won’t charge $100’s for a “program.” Tarot readers will generally offer personal readings but they won’t be incredibly expensive (as they know people are struggling during the pandemic) be wary of readers who only tell you what you want to hear & have messages that don’t actually resonate but sound pretty.
c) Clickbait thumbnails & ego traps. Many fake spiritual youtubers will use flamboyant text and/or clickbait thumbnails + titles for people who are desperate and/or impatient. Also, be careful if they put high emphasis on constantly upholding beauty standards. Most enlightened individuals are looking to move AWAY from these rigid structures. In no way am I saying all attractive people are evil, but be careful that you aren’t looking through rose colored glasses & actually listen to what they’re SAYING. Although it’s nice to feel and look good, constantly speaking about losing weight and/or eating a certain way when they’re not licensed professionals is a yikes. They will also pervert LOA into something that it’s not saying that “if you didn’t get a Lamborghini you didn’t try hard enough.” Everyone’s path is different, and suddenly having a Lamborghini will not always bring you spiritual nourishment.
d) Forcing a certain thinking structure. Most enlightened individuals usually frame their lessons in a way that is either straight to the point and/or always you to think introspectively. They will not have a bunch of fluff to lure you into buying their programs. They also do not use marketing tactics to excite your ego in an unhealthy way. They will not tell you you’re wrong or say that make you feel bad about yourself/less than. If someone is telling you what to think or believe instead of HOW you can think/believe in a way that aligns to your truth, be wary.
e) Fake live webinars! If someone is a youtuber & they’re constantly attempting to drive their subscribers off the youtube platform: red flag!! Youtube offers a live stream service where people can directly give the youtubers money for the stream. It will also say if the YouTuber is ACTUALLY live or simply premiered a prerecorded video. Lying about being “live” is incredibly sketchy, and there’s no reason someone would do that unless they were trying to purposefully trick you.
f) They delete, fake, or sue people for valid criticism. If these youtubers were the real deal, they wouldn’t need to constantly “hush” people for exercising their right to freedom of speech. They also wouldn’t turn off all their comments. Unless you are being outright hateful, everyone has the right to give any creator feedback. The only reason why someone wouldn’t want constructive criticism, is if they didn’t care about the quality of the work they were doing in the first place.
g) They rarely talk about their own life experiences, and when they do, it’s very “surface level.” The spiritual journey can require you to look deep within your self and confront your inner self head on. I’m not saying that every spiritual youtuber has to constantly talk about themselves, but dark & heavy concepts are normal & should be brought to light. If someone only talks about “I was poor & now I’m not!” Instead of, “I was selfish, and insecure, and now I’ve learned to accept myself & others,” its a red flag. What they say about themselves may not even be true, and causes you to question everything. If they can constantly lie about their “programs,” then why would they tell you their real experiences or even their full name?
h) Their analytics on social-blade have random spikes. If the amount of views they receive per video range from 11k-25k & they randomly have a couple 1 million viewed vids or 1 million followers, its super sus. I’m not saying that all their views have to match, but on social blade if their analytics aren’t a steady incline, it could be a sign they bought fake followers and/or views. This is so they can say, “See! I got all these followers bc I manifested so well, now buy my program so you can be like me & get rich!”
i) Lastly, they don’t have a holistic mindset. If they constantly emphasize toxic positivity…its a no for me. Having emotions is spiritual!! Allowing these emotions to flow, and accepting them as a natural way of life is part of a holistic mindset. Can you only breathe in for the rest of your life? No, breathing in and out serves a purpose, much like the concept of yin & yang. Light & shadow. Anyone attempting to spiritually, emotionally, or mentally stunt you by invalidating your emotions is a symptom of textbook narcissism. These people WANT you to feel inferior to them & put up a “positive facade” so that you can financially support their lavish lifestyle and never question their motives.
If you got to the end I hope you found value in this. Please stay safe during this time and remember: a wolf can hide in sheeps clothing. Much love & namaste💜